Ministers in the Welsh Assembly have called for a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public places. The Welsh Government claims that the devices “normalise” the act of smoking which undermines the smoking ban.
Ironically, this proposal comes 7 years to the day that the initial ban on smoking was introduced across wales. What’s more, this plan to curb the use of e-cigs and the sale of e-liquid comes amidst several other proposals designed in the interest of “public health”. These include but are not limited to:
• A minimum unit price for Alcohol, similar to that currently employed in Scotland
• A tobacco retailers’ register with stiffer penalties for those selling to under 18s
• Making it an offence to deliver tobacco ordered online to someone under 18, even if the item was ordered by an adult
• A national register of tattooists and providers of cosmetic piercing in order to improve regulation and set cleanliness and hygiene standards
• Encouraging local authorities to develop a strategy to ensure toilets are publically available in local communities
Speaking to the BBC, Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the aim was to address some of the nation’s major public health challenges. “Taking concerted, collective action to address public health concerns remains one of the most powerful contributions any government can make to the welfare and wellbeing of its population,” he said. “Alcohol and tobacco contribute to many life-threatening illnesses and are major causes of persistent inequalities in health. I have concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes on the enforcement of Wales’ smoking ban. That’s why we are proposing restricting their use in enclosed public places. I am also concerned that their use in enclosed public places could normalise smoking behaviour. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and I want to minimise the risk of a new generation becoming addicted to this drug.”
However, some have hit back at the move, claiming that it will in fact stigmatise those who use the devices as a quit aid. Also, critics of the proposal cite a lack of proper research on the part of the Welsh Assembly.
Chief Executive of health charity Ash Deborah Arnott commented, ”The concern that electronic cigarettes may be a gateway into smoking is understandable. However, this is not borne out by the evidence so far from England, where our research shows that their use is almost without exception only amongst current and ex-smokers. There is growing evidence that they are effective in helping smokers quit and this is to be welcomed. We’re pleased that the Welsh government is consulting on whether to ban their use in enclosed public places as it is important to take account of the evidence before going ahead.”
As a vaper, what do you think of the ban in Wales? Do you think this sets a worrying precedent for the rest of the UK or will it fall short at the consultation stage? Here at Cloudstix we agree that E-cigarette starter kits should not be sold to those under the age of 18 because of the nicotine content, but this doesn’t mean that they are a public health risk.
Our complete range of kits and accessories can be viewed on our website but if you have any queries do not hesitate to get in touch! We are happy to take your call and reply to your emails!by